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Black/Death Metal greatness - 85%

KC, April 26th, 2014

Odem along with Pyre is the best Russian death metal band. While the other is more derivative, you can’t hold that against Odem – it’s something else entirely. It’s not old school which is a relief, but it’s got that essence, that substance particularly and it’s taking with it the whole genre ahead. There’s the black metal influence coupled with death metal brutality not too different from Azarath but this one goes beyond that. It’s also got that eccentric and unpredictable flair, a curveball that Azarath can’t throw. But then again let’s not compare too much and let each band do its own thing. Odem is truly special and deserves your attention.

This is an EP however, four songs, all powerful, fast and going straight for the jugular while doing the frills, so to speak, along the way. That’s the way it should be. The momentum is raging, remains like that and your head continues to be crushed or is getting there. The music reeks of an esoteric air which is hard to pinpoint – a remarkable feat these days to do something like that. Given this day and age, the redundancy of death metal bands, Odem’s ‘The Valley of Cut Tongues’ stands out like a sore thumb everyone wants to suck. It’s that age of infancy all over again, with old school making a comeback, but that’s hardly reinventing the wheel, that’s what Odem is doing. This will stand the test of time.

Released on the respectable Daemon Worship Productions, mostly known for its black metal art, this is a great discovery, a revelation for the death metal fans. It’s intense, unrelenting and at the same time artistic without allowing pretension to seep through. It’s just too fast and powerful for any of that. This is the template of the future – there’s the so-called modern influences reminiscent of the Canadian bands, namely Deamon and hints of Cryptopsy and Gorguts, channelled through the Polish school of death metal but executed to perfection. I can’t get enough of this EP because there’s so much happening in there and at a speed and level of diversity difficult to comprehend all at once.

‘The Valley of Cut Tongues’ is easily one of the best EPs to surface in recent times. It’s almost like the death metal equivalent of that sensational Bolzer EP. Odem is more experienced however, having released a full length album prior to this, and is forging its own path, burning conventions and hackneyed templates. Excellent.